In a recent letter to the editor, reader Don Mazen echoes the current attitude toward the treatment of our youth (“Local teams outclassed in current league,” Oct. 13). I am very concerned. Whatever happened to the coach’s cry of, “When the going gets tough the tough get going”? Mazen believes that an easier league, if there is such a thing, is the answer to Glendale and Hoover highs’ misfortunes on the gridiron. The message he brings to our aspiring athletes is if a task or goal is too difficult, then give up. It is a good thing that the American people of World War II never took such an attitude.
The CIF has eight divisions in which leagues are placed, mainly on the basis of a school’s population. Hoover and Glendale play football against schools with similar numbers of students. Football teaches our youth fortitude, hard work, teamwork, responsibility and toughness under adverse conditions. What will we be teaching our kids if we send them to a different league? If it is a league with a lesser enrollment, then all that is being accomplished is giving the kids false pride. The youth of today have to learn that in the real world, if you can’t do the job, the boss doesn’t give you easier tasks, he fires you.
Perhaps the students that don’t go out for football ought to look in the mirror and ask themselves what can they do to help their school have a better football team. Instead of complaining how lousy their school football team is, they should be out on the field every afternoon working their tails off to become winners. Those boys on the team should ask themselves if they are putting in a 100% effort every time they begin stretching to the end of a scrimmage at practice. Toughness is acquired through hard work, sacrifice and pushing oneself to the limit.
Placing the teams in an easier league is not the answer because it would deny the players the experience of real-life struggles and give them a false sense of achievement, setting them up for disappointment in real life. What the football teams need is community support so that the players can have the best coaching, training and equipment that will make each player tougher, faster and more agile. The taste of victory is sweet, but only when you have worked hard to gain it.